it has been many years since i planned and planted a vegetable garden. we have always had something in the way of a garden, even if it was just small one. a few years ago, we had a wet, rainy summer that rotted almost everything. mildews and invertebrates and plain old standing water put the kibosh on the whole thing. that was after several summers of putting up increasingly vicious fences to keep the hens from poking holes in the tomatoes and gutting the eggplants. at the beginning of july, which is the height of the growing season, only a few weedy stragglers remained and we called the garden a wash (no pun intended). without constant weeding and tending, the nasty things took over and went wild. crabgrass, horse thistle, smartweed, pigweed, and any other ghastly garden invader you can imagine threw a big party in my carefully amended garden soil. by fall, there was sod. in the spring, i went out and looked at the garden plot with its thick, meaty sod and just threw in the towel. since then, it has only gotten worse. there is milkweed in there now. comfrey. so many things that will not go quietly into that good night. a season under black plastic is the only hope for reclamation.

but this year? i am determined. i am happily perusing the seed catalogs. i will have fresh green beans, bush and pole! i will know the joy of fresh zucchini! only death will keep me from the hedonistic pleasure of a fresh tomato, still warm from the sun! if i have to plant the perennial beds full of veg, i will overcome. and in between weeding and tending those, i will finally put down that black plastic i bought in 2015, because a life without a vegetable garden just isn’t one that i’m interested in living.

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